BRANCHING OUT

Natchez Salvage & Parts Offers It All



Bubba Kaiser and Stephen Edwards make sure Natchez Salvage & Parts meets its customers’ needs.

Anne McDaniel Photography .com

It’s not unusual for auto recycling facilities to offer more than just used parts. But Bubba Kaiser and Stephen Edwards, co-owners of Natchez Salvage & Parts, in Natchez, Miss., take diversification to the next level. Their facility boasts a self-service facility, repair shop, car lot and scrap scales, along with its full-service side.

“I’ve seen old school into new school,” Kaiser explained as he described Natchez Salvage & Parts’ transformation. “With the economy like it is, it’s tough to make it straight off of salvage.”

Natchez Salvage & Parts is an auto recycling facility that began as a family-owned business more than 50 years ago. Bubba Kaiser purchased the business in 1984, right out of high school. Since then, he has worked hard to transform it into the one-stop shop it is today.

In 1999, with growth in mind, Kaiser moved the business from its original five-acre location to its current 23-acre location. The first thing he added was the auto repair shop in 2002. He explained that people used to come in to buy a part and continually ask if the business could install it. Instead of always telling them, “No,” Kaiser added the shop to accommodate the requests.

In his desire to further serve his customers, Kaiser’s next addition to the business was a car lot, added around 2007. “If someone wrecked a car, I can get them a new one (right here),” he said.

Kaiser pointed out that a lot of people in the community don’t know what a great value used parts can be, so in 2012, he opened U-Pull-It Natchez on the same location as Natchez Salvage & Parts. The company’s website boasts that it has become the largest self-service yard in Mississippi and one of the largest in the entire Southeast. There are usually 1,500 vehicles in the yard at all times.

With all the diversification at Natchez Salvage & Parts, Kaiser is thankful that he has a great staff to help run it. Some of his employees have been with him the entire 31 years he has owned the business. “We have a good staff that has been with us for a long time,” he reiterated. An addition to that great staff was Edwards, who came on board in 2013. Kaiser explained that after years of growing the business, he couldn’t do it alone. “I had to have help,” he admitted. “That’s why Stephen came in.”

Edwards credited the employees for Natchez Salvage & Parts’ ability to run smoothly. “The majority of employees here are long-term employees. They know their jobs, which makes it easier.”

The business now has 17 employees and those employees are more than capable to serve the needs of the customers. “I’m real big on customer appreciation and communication whether they buy something or not,” Kaiser explained. “We have the office designed to be more customer-friendly, like the chain parts stores. It’s not the image of the junkyard. When you drive up you don’t see wrecked cars.”

Edwards mentioned that U-Pull-It Natchez is designed to be easy for people to get their parts. “People are more likely to buy salvage when it comes from a clean and organized inventory. These parts are proven and tested.”

As Natchez Salvage & Parts looks to the future, continual diversification via the Internet is the next natural step. The business already has a website (www.natchezsalvage.com), as well as, a presence on Facebook, but the owners hope to expand further into social media for advertising, marketing and Internet sales. Kaiser said he realizes that to help their new and younger clientele, they need to move into the Internet age.

A lot has changed over the years at Natchez Salvage & Parts, but adding an automated phone answering system is one change their customers will never see. Edwards said, “The majority (of people) wait on hold, because they heard a real person answer the phone.” Kaiser added, “Customer relations got us where we are today.”

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